You may have noticed some of your online friends doing it. It pops up in your Facebook feed. It’s a message that goes something like this: “Hi everyone! I’m taking a break from Facebook to focus on the real world. If you need me, please text or call my phone. I won’t be checking anything on here for a while.”
Maybe you feel a little twinge of envy. Gosh, it would be nice to leave Facebook out of your life for a few days or even a week or more. No worrying about keeping up with your neverending friend feeds, constantly posting photos, or remembering to leave birthday wishes on your buddies’ pages.
You can choose to step away from the social networking noise, but it can be hard to disrupt a habit as strong as Facebook. Tap or click here for a few proven ways to break your phone addiction. Even better, follow these tips to successfully take that Facebook break you’ve been thinking about.
1. Level with yourself before you officially take a break from Facebook
Before you take your Facebook break, take a moment to evaluate why you want to do it.
- Are you spending way too much time on the network?
- Tired of political arguments?
- Are you feeling pressured to keep up with your friends’ activities?
- Has it gotten to be more stressful than enjoyable?
- Are you traveling and will be away from reliable internet access?
These are all legitimate reasons for wanting to step away.
A good idea is to set a goal for yourself, such as one week, two weeks, or one month away. That’s long enough to notice any changes or differences in your life or how you feel about Facebook.
2. Delete the Facebook app
Heavy Facebook users often impulsively open up the app on their phones. Remove this temptation by deleting the app for the duration of your break. You can always reinstall it later.
This is also a clever pro tip for saving space on your phone. Facebook takes up a ton of space, and when you delete the app, it clears up all that space on your device. Once you reinstall it and sign in, Facebook will look and act just like before but without hogging all that space.
3. Deactivate your account
If you don’t have the willpower to stay away from Facebook on your own, deactivate your account during the break. This is different from deleting your account. Deactivation essentially puts your account into suspended animation.
“Deactivating your account will disable your profile and remove your name and photo from most things you’ve shared on Facebook,” according to Facebook. “Some information may still be visible to others, such as your name in their friend’s list and messages you sent.”
To deactivate your Facebook account:
- First, log into Facebook from a computer.
- Then, click your profile icon in the top-right corner.
- Choose Settings & privacy, then select Settings.
- Select Privacy from the left-hand menu.
- On the new Privacy page, you’ll see Your Facebook information. Select it.
- At the bottom of the page, you’ll see a section called Deactivation and Deletion. Click View (or anywhere else in the section) to continue.
- It will look like this on your screen:
- Select Deactivate Account.
- Next, click Continue to Account Deactivation.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to finally deactivate your Facebook account.
Remember: Deactivating your account means you can no longer publish to any Pages you might manage. Be sure there’s an alternative administrator for Pages that need updates in your absence.
You can reactivate your Facebook profile anytime, so you can return to the site in full when (or if) you decide to end your self-imposed exile.
4. Before you take a break from Facebook, back up everything important
Before deactivating your account, don’t forget to save a backup of all your Facebook photos, videos and content. Our sponsor, IDrive’s Universal backup, offers something you won’t find with other backup services.
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5. Notice the difference
Take time to take stock of how your life has changed during your Facebook break.
Maybe you now have an extra 20 minutes every morning to read a book and drink coffee. Or perhaps your workday productivity has improved with the disappearance of Facebook distractions.
Maybe you’re spending more time with your friends and family face-to-face instead of staring at your phone. If life seems better, you might want to make it a permanent break.
6. Return with care
If you enjoyed your Facebook break but still want to go back, you can return with a different mindset. If your goal is to spend less time on the network, consider leaving the app off your phone. You might also restrict the number of times you allow yourself to check Facebook daily. You can also cut down your list of friends to reduce clutter.
Still not sure about committing to a Facebook-less trial run? According to the National Library of Medicine, a study conducted with over 1,000 participants in Denmark found that quitting Facebook for a week could lead to an increased sense of life satisfaction. This can also make your emotions more positive, especially if you’re a heavy Facebook user.
If that sounds intriguing, think about committing to a Facebook-free experiment of your own and see how it works out for you.
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